Magnum came into my life my sophomore year as a reward for having gotten straight A's in my toughest semester
of college. I went to the SPCA knowing that I wanted a cat with the look and personality of a tiger.
When I saw his name, I thought "it's a sign!" (I had just seen and fallen in love with the movie Zoolander
at the time.) I took him home, and I still remember holding him to my chest and thinking "So this
is what it's like to be a mommy. I'll never love anyone or anything more than him."
I spent the
day at my sister's visiting my newborn nephew. I even remember talking to my boyfriend who had just finished
reading the 7th Harry Potter book in which the main character's beloved pet owl is killed. We both admitted
to crying (tearing up by my boyfriend) at that point in the book, agreeing that losing Magnum would be unbearable.
My mom even called at 9:30PM to let me know that the pets were fine. I later found out that 9:00
pm was around the time Magnum would have gotten out. Irony…When I was driving home at 11:30PM, my
brother called saying that he had taken my dog, Padfoot, out to use the restroom and that my dog had started chasing something.
That something turned out to be my other cat Sid, and that's when my brother started looking for Magnum and couldn't
find him. I drove home as fast as I could and began looking. At 12:00AM my boyfriend
started the three hour drive from Austin to Houston. I continued looking and calling his name.
At 4:30AM, my boyfriend and I were exhausted and decided to sleep. We woke up again at 7:00AM to
pouring rain, yet we still searched door to door and walked in water and mud up to our knees, always calling Magnum.
We did everything we could think of, making signs, filing lost animal reports at shelters and veterinary clinics, going
door to door.
The next 13 weeks are a blur to me. Everything seemed to be against me.
-I just happened
to not be home at the time, and I live in a neighborhood with a ton of trees and bushes.
-Cats aren't like dogs, who might go up to others, and Magnum is a brown tabby, the
most commonly colored cat and the most easily hidden. He didn't have his collar on either.
-It was Labor Day Weekend, so
I couldn't search many neighbors' yards. It rained for one week straight.
-I had to go to another state
for my job training only a few days after Magnum's disappearance.
We made flyers that had "LOST CAT" on neon green paper taped to a white
page with a color photo, description, and cardboard all in a ziplock bag to prevent bending and wetness. We
posted on 62 stop signs, and within the first few days many were torn down by the City of Piney Point in areas that weren't
even their jurisdiction. They told me it was against city code, and I had to contact the Mayor in order
to leave them up for two weeks. When those were taken down, I reposted.
After a week, I even contacted an animal communicator. After three weeks, I finally
contacted Karin. When her team came, I felt a determination and calm that I hadn't felt since Magnum had
been missing. Following behind Cade and Karin, you can just tell. He knows what he's
doing, and he knows what we're trying to accomplish. But it's not enough for the dog to know, the handler
has to be able to read the dog, and there is no doubt in my mind that Karin can read all her dogs. Not to mention, she's
completly dedicated to her job, running down trenches and walking through spiderwebs (My boyfriend and I began referring to
her as superwoman.) They confirmed which direction he had travelled, and Karin told me that she believed he was alive
and actually having fun, something the animal communicators also believed.
I continued my search with renewed hope, making
over 1,000 flyers, waking up at 5:30AM to search, trapping at the feral cat colony that Karin had led me to, still going door
to door, and all while going to my 8AM to 5PM job. At 8 weeks, Karin came again in order to confirm whether
Magnum had been home or not, something that an animal communicator had been insisting. By the end of my
search for Magnum, I would have contacted six communicators, two of which I continued to use until the day Magnum was found.
Her dogs, Cade, Dodger, Paco, and even Twist, all confirmed that he had recently been home. I bought
security cameras, and watched the three hour security footage every evening after work. After 11 weeks,
I finally began to truly despair. I had cried before of course. It was so hard to hope,
to try, to go out and search, and come back empty handed every time. My body was so tired.
My mind felt numb, and my heart felt dead. My own parents kept telling me to give up hope.
My dad even callously said "cats have no loyalty or conscience. He's gone, so just forget it."
My friends didn't understand, and many believed my search efforts to be futile. I felt so alone.
Yet, it seemed to hurt more to give up than to keep trying. Throughout this time, Karin continued
to support me, even talking to me until 2AM in the morning one night. She didn't give me cliché
advice, nor did she try to make me move on. She understands as do all the people who have lost a pet.
She gave me steps to accomplish that helped remove the emotions of sadness and hopelessness from the actual search.
I was finally beginning to accept that it might be a while before Magnum would come home.
exactly 91 days/13 weeks, someone called. They explained that their daughter had been driving home down
a street that she usually didn't and saw one of the signs still left on the stop sign. By that time, all
but two signs had been torn down. Four pounds lighter and squirming in my arms, Magnum was finally coming
home. I spent over 4K searching for him. Nothing actually amounted to me finding him,
but without Karin's support, I'm not sure I would have been able to continue looking. It just goes to show
that miracles do happen, and angels do exist.
If you've lost a pet, I know
it might be easier to just stop and grieve in order to gain a sense of closure, but don't give up! You
never know when or how your pet might come back to you.